Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Information
Letters and information for parents, guardians and students
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In 1999, Pennsylvania adopted academic standards for Mathematics, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The standards identify what a student should know and be able to do at various grade levels. The annual PSSA is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards.
Students in grades 3 through 8 are assessed in mathematics and reading. Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are assessed in writing. Students in grades 4 and 8 are assessed in science. Individual student scores are provided to their respective schools and can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may need additional educational opportunities. School scores provide information to districts and schools for curriculum and instruction improvement planning and discussions.